(recipe, Caprial Pence & Melissa Carey)
Delicious by itself, this simple cake is also a good vehicle for other ingredients, such as fresh fruit or berries and whipped cream. To transform it into something truly extravagant, cover a slice with warm sautéed apples and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, top with another slice, and then drizzle with warm caramel sauce.
Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake This cake is pretty intense, but don't let that keep you from embellishing it! Make a sundae by topping a slice or two with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and then pouring warm cherry compote over the top. Soak 1/2 cup dried sour cherries in 1/2 cup almond liqueur for about 30 minutes. Coarsely chop the cherries, reserving the liqueur; set aside. Follow the Lemon Pound Cake master recipe, omitting the lemon zest and juice. After the sour cream is incorporated, add the reserved cherries and liqueur and mix well. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the flour mixture, combine it with the butter mixture, then add 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate and mix well. Proceed as directed in the master recipe, omitting the glaze. Fresh Berry and Lemon Pound Cake The next time you prepare a brunch, consider this variation as a yummy substitute for coffee cake. If you don't have fresh berries, thawed frozen ones will do in a pinch, but they must be drained really well, otherwise the cake will be soggy. Follow the Lemon Pound Cake master recipe, folding 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or peeled, diced peaches into the batter. Bake as directed in the master recipe, topping with the glaze.